Written by Grace Young
2 Kings is filled with some of my favorite Bible stories. I remember all my siblings and cousins piling around my Grandpa as he read, pointing out lessons throughout. I never understood the story of Naaman though (2 Kings 5). I encourage you to read the full story, but basically Naaman is a widely known and highly favored captain. He’s popular, known for being victorious in battle.
The kicker is that Naaman has leprosy.
In the story, Naaman seeks healing and finally ends up at the house of Elisha the prophet. Elisha sends a servant to speak to this captain and convey a simple command: Naaman must wash himself in the Jordan River 7 times- and he will be healed!
This must be music to Naaman’s ears, right? Wrong. We see that he actually becomes angry and questions why God would not heal him right there or AT LEAST choose a better body of water to wash in.
It sounds reasonable that you want to choose your ego over healing from a disease where your body falls off piece by piece, right? My kid brain was mind-blown…”Doesn’t he want healing? Doesn’t he want God to work? Why does it matter how it happens?”
I’ve grown up though, and now I can see myself in Naaman clearly. How often do I miss out on what God has for me because I thought He would show up differently? I get frustrated when His plans don’t line up with mine, and have the audacity to think He doesn’t know what He’s doing. It’s easy for me to think He isn’t working because I’ve closed my eyes to anything I didn’t plan or expect.
The truth is, God is working. His plan has our best interest at heart, and happens for a specific reason. The real question is: Are our eyes open to see it even if it’s not what we wanted? Are our hearts open to His commands and guidance even when they are humbling and difficult? Are we ready to honor Him even when it means laying down habits, relationships, desires, or plans?
Spoiler alert: Naaman is convinced to let go of his pride and frustration and go to the Jordan, where he indeed finds healing! And we can, too. Each of us must decide if God’s forgiveness, healing, grace, and promises are worth giving up our expectations and pride.
What will you decide?
“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:6-9